Underwater Cultural Heritage
Angkor Wat Project
Angkor Wat Project
Conservation Projects for Angkor Wat
发布日期:2012-11-16 浏览次数: 字号:[ ]

  Angkor is located in Siem Reap, a city in northern Cambodia. It was the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th century CE. More than 60 important sites were constructed during the 700-year history of the empire, manifesting the most splendid civilization of Southeastern Asia. In 1992, Angkor was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  From October 12 to 13, 1993, after the Cambodian Civil War, with the coordination and support of UNESCO, representatives from the international community, including China, gathered at an intergovernmental conference on the conservation and development for Angkor Wat Archaeological Site. The conference culminated in the Tokyo Declaration, which decided to launch an international-aided conservation and restoration program for cultural heritage in Angkor. Meanwhile, the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) was established to assess and operate the conservation and research activities.

  Since 1986, more than a dozen of countries and organizations have offered funds and sent professionals to participate in the program, including China, India, Japan, France, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Switzerland.


  1. Restoration Project of Chau Say Tevoda

  In 1998, with a special fund of RMB 14 million yuan by the Ministry of Finance, the Restoration Project of Chau Say Tevoda was officially launched. Now regarded as the first phase of China’s aid to Angkor, it is also the first time that China participated in an international cooperation program on heritage conservation.

  Built during the end of the 11th century and the first half of the 12th century, Chau Say Tevoda was a Hindu temple established by King Suryavarman II. The main building of the temple covers about 2,500 square meters. It is composed of 7 single structures constructed in stone, including 4 entry towers at four orientations of east, south, west and north, a central sanctuary, and south and north libraries. Before the restoration, buildings of Chau Say Tevoda suffered serious damage and collapses, most of which only remained basic foundations, with stone components scattered around the temple.

  Under the coordination of UNESCO, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage closely cooperated with Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APASRA). CACH is responsible for investigation, design, and construction. The project lasted ten years from 1998 to 2008, during which CACH invited a number of experts from a variety of fields, such as archaeology, geography, stone material protection, cultural history, architectural art, and conservation technology. The conservation plan was designed based on the fruit of the interdisciplinary studies.

  On March 29, 2000, the conservation project was officially launched. Main measures used in the restoration included collection and return of fallen components, return and consolidation of bases, construction of drainage system, restoration of the main building, consolidation of architectural structures, repair of damaged stone components, and carving of artistic components, etc. During the restoration, CACH’s professionals have repaired and relocated 3,000 out of 4,000 pieces that were scattered around Chau Say Tevoda back to their original positions. Eventually, the restoration project basically recovered the site’s original architectural pattern and artistic features. As a result, the project received highly positive feedback from the Cambodian Government, international organizations, and our colleagues.

  The Chinese Government has put much emphasis on the project at Angkor Wat. On November 14, 2000, President Jiang Zemin visited the construction site during his visit in Cambodia, accompanied by the then King Sihanouk.


  Restoration Project of Ta Keo Temple

  According to the agreement between the two governments, after completing the restoration project of Chau Say Tevoda, Ta Keo was selected to be the site of the second restoration project aided by China to Cambodia.

  About 1 kilometer away to the east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, roughly 500 meters away from Siem Reap River, Ta Keo is a state temple, manifested by its temple-mountain style. A causeway on the east of temple connects its eastern entrance to the east pool. The main structure is a five-tier platform, on top of which are five lotus-shaped sanctuary towers. In addition, entry towers, libraries, long hall and corridor are located on each tier of the platform. In spite of its endurance over nearly a thousand years, the temple is challenged by a number of potential destructive factors due to its location in a torrid environment of high temperature and high humidity, and due to the physical feature of architectural materials. As a result, although the main structure still remains, other individual buildings on the structure suffered total or partial collapses. Moreover, the base of the main structure is also faced with various hidden hazards in terms of structural safety.

  In 2007, under the commission from SACH and the financial support from the Ministry of Finance, CACH conducted preliminary studies and investigations for Ta Keo’s conservation project. Disciplines involved in the studies ranged from architecture, archaeology, structural engineering, to geotechnical engineering and conservation science, etc. As a fruit, CACH has published many research reports, marking the achievement of the first stage of the project.

  On November 27, 2011, the conservation project of Ta Keo was officially launched. The fund of RMB 40 million yuan for the project was derived from the special funds to aid foreign countries, allocated by the Ministry of Commerce. In October, 2011, CACH organized a professional restoration team (also known as the Angkor Conservation Team of the Chinese Government) to undertake the project. To date, the team has accomplished the deployment of the construction site and a few temporary facilities. At present, the team is in progress of the restoration of Ta Keo’s southern inner door, southwestern corner of the second tier, and the turret. Major tasks of the restoration involve the dismantling of distorted parts, the consolidation of structural components, the repairing of remained stone components, and the return of unloaded and fallen stone components. Meanwhile, the team is also carrying out tasks such as archaeological research, anti-weathering protection for stone materials, and other relevant issues.

  On April 1, 2012, China’s President Hu Jintao, during a friendly visit to Cambodia, visited the construction site of Ta Keo Temple and conveyed sincere regards to Chinese technicians who worked for the restoration project.

  Between 2011 and 2012, the archaeology team conducted investigations in and out the heritage site. A large number of pieces of potteries and ceramics were collected and examined. The discoveries are important contributions to our understanding of the history of Angkor and that of Sino-Cambodia cultural interaction.

  Overall, the restoration and conservation projects in Angkor Wat have received much attention from the Chinese authorities. The projects are not only highly appreciated by the Cambodian government, but also widely acclaimed by the international community. China’s engagement in the international action to aid Angkor is a manifestation of the Chinese responsibility and senses of mission for the protection of World Cultural Heritage. Additionally, the projects have provided opportunities for an extended cooperation between China and the international community of cultural preservation. Last but not least, CACH’s accomplishments in Angkor has deepened mutual understandings between the two peoples, promoted the friendship, and consolidated the bilateral relationship between China and Cambodia.




  View of Chau Say Tevoda 


  Simulation of  Chau Say Tevoda


  Chau Say Tevoda before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda after Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda Central Sanctuary before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda Central Sanctuary after Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda North Library before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda North Library after Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda South Library before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda South Library before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda North Entry Tower before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda North Entry Tower during Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda North Entry Tower after Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda South Entry Tower before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda South Entry Tower after Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda East Entry Tower before Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda East Entry Tower after Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda During Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda During Restoration


  Chau Say Tevoda During Restoration


  Overview of Ta Keo


  Simulation of Ta Keo


  North Gate of Ta Keo


  Archaeological Site of Ta Keo


  Excavated Artifacts of Ta Keo


  Ta Keo During Restoration


  Ta Keo During Restoration


  Ta Keo During Restoration


  Ta Keo During Restoration

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